My cousin, D, who went to art school, has been to Paris several times but never to the Louvre.
Her reason, which I’ve heard before, is that she didn’t ‘want to rush the experience’ and thought she would need at least a week to do a proper job.
I, on the other hand, have been to the Louvre everytime I’ve been to Paris.
My reason, which I’ve heard before, is that you can’t possibly absorb everything in one visit – even if that visit is a week long.
One simply gets overloaded.
So, I pop in for a few hours whenever I get the chance.
Unfortunately, usually when I’m in Paris, it’s with visitors. I’ve seen the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory and Napolean’s Apartments more times than I can count.
I’ve snuck off by myself to do the Old Masters, some Rennaissance, and a few other exhibits, but have never had the chance to see a lot of the Early Civilisation exhibits that really interest me.
D decided we should do the Louvre Saturday afternoon.
Mon mari wanted to do the top of the Eiffel Tower (he’s tried before, but the weather/crowds haven’t cooperated); her husband wanted to relax with some people watching.
D and I have been known to walk lesser mortals into the ground early on when we decide to ‘do’ something.
And we only had 4 hours.
First, naturally, we had to see the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory and Napolean’s Apartments…..
After that, we walked, admired the building and if a painting caught our interest we stopped and looked.
We found the Crown Jewels and ancient jewelry; porcelain, ceramics and Roman Glass; textiles and furniture. We managed to get out a side entrance once and had to walk all around the outside to the main entrance to get back in.
We saw the African, Meso-American and Galapagos Island bits.
We had photos taken next to the 4000 year old Code of Hammurabi:
I wanted to read it, but my cuneiform is a bit rusty.
(For those who don’t remember their ancient history, Hammurabi was a king of Babylon, and the code consisited of the laws used to govern his people. This is the earliest example of having actual laws, written down for all to read and know, rather than the more arbitrary “What I say goes” which was used in the rest of the world up until Magna Carta)
The Etruscan exhibit was impressive….
And we even managed to get to the inverted pyramid featured in ‘The DaVinci Code’.
We decided, at the last minute, (right after we heard the closing announcement) that D really should see a Rembrandt or two. We dashed up 2 flights of stairs and managed to avoid the security guards long enough to get about 7 room into that section.
Unfortunately, our luck ran out and we were, um, told it was time to leave…..
All in all, we did a pretty good job of ‘doing’ the Louvre…. In 4 hours…
On Wednesday evening, before we left for Paris, I went to my tiny garden and picked everything that looked like it might turn into a vegetable at some point in time.
On Sunday night, after we returned I went to my tiny garden and picked this:
How did this happen?!?!?
There was also a new vegetable for us: Chard.
I planted seeds of Rainbow Chard that I smuggled over from the U.S. a couple of years ago.
I see it in the shops here with huge stems, 2 – 3 inches across.
Apparently, the French eat the stems and discard the leaves.
Americans eat the leaves and carefully cut out, and discard, the stems.
Being multi-cultural we ate it all.
8oz (250gr) chard or Swiss chard
2 cloves garlic
1 large yellow tomato
2 tbs fresh basil
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
Wash the chard and trim any bad bits. Stack the leaves together and fold over, the long way. Slice into strips, using both leaves and stems. Roughly chop onion and tomato. Snip basil.
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until onion is transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the chard and stir-fry over medium heat until it softens and fits into the skillet. Add tomato, reduce heat to low and cook until tender, another 5 – 7 minutes. Drizzle with Balsamic vinegar, stir in basil and serve.
Who’s up for a museum?